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Seniors in a Digital World

As the world becomes more digital, the use of technology is becoming increasingly important for people of all ages. Seniors, in particular, can benefit greatly from the use of apps that are designed to help them stay connected, healthy, and entertained. In this article, we will discuss the importance of apps for seniors and provide some app suggestions that are specifically designed to meet their needs.

The Importance of Apps for Seniors

Apps can be a valuable tool for seniors as they provide an easy and accessible way for them to stay connected to their loved ones, manage their health, and engage in various activities. Many seniors may find it challenging to keep up with new technology and may feel intimidated by it. However, apps that are designed with seniors in mind are usually user-friendly and straightforward to use, making them an excellent resource for those who may not be tech-savvy.

Apps can also help seniors stay connected with family and friends. For example, video calling apps like Skype and Zoom can help seniors stay in touch with loved ones who may live far away. Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter can also help seniors stay connected with friends and family and keep up with current events.

Another important aspect of apps for seniors is their potential to help manage health. Many apps are available that can help seniors monitor their medications, track their physical activity, and manage chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. These apps can help seniors take control of their health and live a more active and healthy lifestyle.

App Suggestions for Seniors

Lumosity: This app is designed to help seniors keep their minds sharp and improve their cognitive abilities. Lumosity offers a wide range of games and puzzles that are scientifically designed to challenge the brain and improve memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.

Silver Surf: This app is designed to make it easier for seniors to use technology. It offers a simplified interface that is easy to use, along with large buttons and text that make it easier to navigate. Silver Surf also provides tutorials and tips to help seniors get the most out of their devices.

Pillboxie: This app is designed to help seniors manage their medications. It provides reminders to take medications at the right time and also provides information about the medication, including dosages and potential side effects.

Fitbit: This app is designed to help seniors stay active and healthy. It tracks physical activity, including steps taken and calories burned, and provides personalized fitness goals and challenges to keep seniors motivated.

Words with Friends: This app is designed to help seniors stay connected with friends and family through a fun and challenging game. It is similar to Scrabble and can be played with anyone who has the app, regardless of where they are located.

Apps can be a valuable resource for seniors as they provide an easy and accessible way for them to stay connected, manage their health, and engage in various activities. The apps discussed in this article are just a few examples of the many apps that are available to seniors. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that more apps will be developed that are specifically designed to meet the needs of seniors.

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Managing Alcohol in Your Golden Years

As people age, their bodies become less tolerant to alcohol, which means that they may feel the effects of alcohol more quickly and more strongly than when they were younger. Despite this, many seniors continue to consume alcohol, and some may even develop alcohol abuse or dependence.

Alcohol abuse among seniors can have serious consequences, including an increased risk of falls and injuries, as well as chronic health conditions like liver disease and high blood pressure. In addition, seniors who abuse alcohol may experience cognitive decline, memory loss, and other mental health issues.

There are several factors that can contribute to alcohol abuse among seniors. These may include loneliness, social isolation, depression, and anxiety. Retirement, bereavement, and financial stress can also contribute to alcohol abuse.

It is important for seniors and their loved ones to be aware of the risks of alcohol abuse and to take steps to prevent it. This may include limiting alcohol consumption to moderate levels, avoiding binge drinking, and seeking help if there are signs of a problem.

Seniors who are struggling with alcohol abuse can benefit from a variety of interventions, including counseling, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment. Family members and caregivers can also play an important role in helping seniors to reduce their alcohol consumption and maintain their health and well-being.

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem among seniors that can have negative impacts on their physical and mental health. It is important to be aware of the risks and to take steps to prevent and address alcohol abuse among seniors. Buddy Services offer companionship care services, which can be helpful for seniors in a variety of situation, including those who may be experiencing social isolation or loneliness as a result of their alcohol abuse or related mental health issues.

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Shaking off the Monday Blues

Tips for Positive Living for Seniors

Monday mornings can be tough for anyone, but as seniors, it’s important to remember that we have the wisdom and experience to make the most of every day. Blue Monday doesn’t have to be a downer, and there are many ways to turn it into a Positive Monday.

First, start the day with a positive mindset. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of Monday, focus on the positive things that the new week brings. This could be a new opportunity to learn something new, time to catch up with friends, or even just the chance to start fresh and make a new plan.

Another way to beat the Monday blues is to get moving. Exercise is known to boost mood and energy levels, so try to squeeze in a walk around the neighborhood or do some gentle stretching exercises. Even if you have mobility issues, there are many seated exercises you can do to stay active. Physical activity can also be a great way to socialize and meet new people, so consider joining a seniors’ exercise class or group.

Another way to keep the blues at bay is to surround yourself with positive people. Call a friend, text a loved one, or even just strike up a conversation with a neighbor. Interacting with people who make you feel good will help lift your spirits and improve your mood. If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, consider joining a seniors’ group or organization in your community.

Lastly, take the time to do something you enjoy. This could be reading, writing, playing an instrument, or even just sitting down with a cup of tea and a good book. Engaging in activities that you love will help to distract you from the negativity of the day and remind you of the things that make you happy.

In conclusion, Monday mornings can be tough, but as seniors, we have the wisdom and experience to make the most of every day. By starting the day with a positive mindset, getting moving, surrounding yourself with positive people, and doing something you enjoy, you can turn the Blue Monday into a Positive Monday. So, let’s make Monday the best day of the week!

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Is Assisted Living Right For You?

For many of us, growing older means more freedom. And while we all value our independence, there may come a time when we can no longer be our sole caretakers. But is assisted living the answer? Today, Buddy Services shares a post that may help you decide on your future living arrangements.

When Is Assisted Living The Right Choice?

There are many reasons that you might consider assisted living. Key of these is your health. Assisted living may be a good fit if you just need a helping hand with things like transportation and housekeeping. If you are at risk of serious mobility issues, Alzheimer’s, or other issues that might cause you to need 24/7 care, look for an independent living community that will allow you to segue into skilled nursing care, if needed.

Before you make any type of a decision, look at assisted living centers in your area. There are probably many options to choose from, and plenty of resources for helping you determine the cost, quality, and potential quality of living. Make a point to tour multiple facilities before you sign an agreement.

A few reasons to consider assisted living now include feelings of social isolation, the need for compassionate care, and a desire for independence without the need to cook and clean for yourself.

And if you’re a business owner, you might be concerned about how to sell this business you’ve probably built from the ground up, and experiencing some anxiety about what will happen to it. On the other hand, you might also be looking forward to retiring – especially if you can leave your business in good hands, and in so doing, generate enough from the sale to more than cover your living expenses.


Senior care facilities are typically not covered by insurance. For this reason, most individuals can expect to spend anywhere from a low base rate of $800 per month up to $7700 per month or more, according to Brookdale Senior Living. Because the cost is so high, it’s also not uncommon to have to sell a home to afford assisted-living care. If you choose to go this route, spend some time looking at your local real estate market to see how much you can expect to pull in equity from your existing home.

What To Look For

When it’s time to begin vetting independent living campuses, start by identifying your top three needs. For most, this is location, cost, and services. U.S. News & World Report also lists the culture and, of special importance since the dawn of the pandemic, infection control protocols. You may also look for a facility with access to transportation on demand, that has an on-site barbershop, or, if you are still interested in nightlife, an in-house bar.

Importantly, you’ll also need to ask about visitation policies. If your children and grandchildren live close by, you’ll want to know that they can visit often and with few restrictions. If your facility must restrict indoor visitors for any reason, confirm that there are plenty of outdoor spaces where you can picnic or simply enjoy an afternoon stroll.

Watch For Red Flags

For-profit assisted living centers will do anything to get new people through the doors. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on clever marketing. No matter how good it looks “on paper,” don’t overlook red flags, such as residents that show signs of poor hygiene or that appear to be malnourished. Ultimately, the decision to move into assisted living is a deeply personal choice that must be made by all individuals facing the situation. There is no right answer or wrong answer for anyone. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools that can help you read reviews before you tour your preferred facilities.

Buddy Services is a safety net for seniors and people with medical conditions or anyone in need of companionship. Questions? We’d love to hear from you!

Written by: Hazel Bridges

Image via Pexels

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7 Ways For Seniors To Improve Their Well-being

Article written by: Phillip Carr

Health and wellness are important concepts for seniors who want to make the most of their golden years. It’s never too late to make crucial changes to boost your overall well-being. Consider these seven ways you can get started on your health-conscious journey.

  1. Try Yoga – Yoga is a great way to lower heart rate and stabilize blood pressure when accompanied by a healthy diet. It’s a great form of exercise for seniors because it promotes relaxation and helps you get more quality sleep. There’s also something for everyone among yoga techniques and styles.
  1. Take On a New Hobby – Finding a new, stimulating hobby is a great way to help you focus and get a mental and sometimes physical workout. For example, you could take up gardening if you have outdoor space. It gives you beneficial time in the sun and allows you to get exercise while doing something you enjoy. You could also learn to cook or get into social media. Anything that stimulants your brain is a good hobby choice.
  1. Get Rid of Clutter – Research shows that living around clutter can have a bevy of negative effects on your health, including increasing stress and inhibiting your ability to focus. Start cleaning now to get organized and create a home atmosphere free of distractions. You’ll feel more in control of your life and bolster your self-worth. 
  1. Take Self-Care Trips – Vacations are the ultimate form of self-care. You can plan a long trip full of exciting travel or take a road trip and find somewhere to spend the weekend. Exploring new places can keep you feeling younger. Travel feeds the soul and offers the perfect avenue to recharge.
  1. Read More – Reading can be used to escape into a different world for hours or learn something you never knew. For seniors, it’s also a great way to improve cognitive abilities, such as memory and attention span. You can also join a local book club and make new friends with a common passion for reading.
  1. Turn Something You Love Into a Business – Have you always wanted to own a business? Many seniors choose to open a business later in life because they finally have the time and capital to pursue something they love and enjoy. Do research on your industry and learn more about how to get your business going.
  1. Talk to a Mental Health Professional – Depression and isolation is an unfortunate reality that many seniors face, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. Consider talking to a mental health professional to work out any issues and develop coping habits. You can visit a therapist in person or schedule a virtual appointment.

By taking steps like practicing yoga, taking vacations, decluttering, and visiting a therapist, you can cultivate a healthy lifestyle. You’ll try things you didn’t enjoy and find new passions. What matters is that you make positive changes to increase your happiness.

Buddy Services caregivers can provide your senior loved one with companionship while handling household tasks like housekeeping, cooking, and laundry. Call 647-955-0262 to learn more!

“Phillip used to be the guy who would put off doctor’s appointments, but after a routine checkup revealed he had hyperthyroidism, he makes yearly visits a priority. He created Your Yearly Checkup to not only share his experience, but provide you with useful and informative health articles as well.”

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Save Our Seniors (SOS)

Save Our Seniors (SOS)

By Carol Royer

In the midst of the novel Coronavirus and the stay-at-home order, the elderly population is feeling the brunt of it all and seems to have been forgotten.

The Coronavirus pandemic has been extremely difficult for seniors to navigate in many ways. Social isolation amongst seniors is on the rise, and now with the stay-at-home order, we are very concerned that more and more seniors will have to endure severe isolation without our services. “There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase the risk for premature mortality and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” HoltLunstad says.

On a daily basis, our organization receives calls from agencies such as TC-LHIN, ESS Support, TCHC; MPP’s office, family members, and friends pleading for our assistance for their loved ones. I am the Executive Director at Buddy Services Centre for Seniors and I can tell you that in a one-month span our clientele has doubled. It breaks my heart every day when I pick up the phone and listen to the caller on the other side of the phone expressing their fears and concerns and wonders if they will make it.

One of the calls I happen to pick up last week was from a social worker who was requesting service for her client who lives alone, is diagnosed with cancer, and is in pain continually. I told the social worker that we weren’t taking any new clients but I could go through the intake process with her client, but she will have to be placed on our waitlist, she agreed. I called her to conduct the intake and after listening to her I hung up the phone and I wept. I did not cry just for her, I cried for all the seniors whose life hangs in the balance. During the intake, the individual told me that she was contemplating assisted suicide because the pain and the isolation were too much to bear.

I had a gentleman called last week, asking for companionship for his wife in the event that he passes away, he doesn’t want her to be lonely and alone. A daughter-in-law in Ottawa called requesting companionship care for her mother-in-law who lives in Toronto alone and is in dire need of companionship care, a husband who does not live with his wife requesting transportation to and from a doctor’s appointment for his wife because she does not speak English and he is not able to assist her. We have seniors who are blind and is trapped in their own home because they are too afraid to go to the grocery store to buy groceries – a new service we now provide.

When are we as a society going to place real value on the lives of the elderly population? According to Stats Canada, there were 6,835,866 seniors aged 65 and older in Canada on July 1, accounting for 18.0% of the population, compared with 6,038,647 children aged 0 to 14, accounting for 15.9% of the population.

Close to ninety percent of the seniors who are receiving our services would not be able to afford it if they had to pay out of their own pocket. Clients receiving our services is covered by the COVID-19 ECSF a grant provided by the United Way and expires March 31, 2021, after that date I can almost guarantee you that we will see the death toll rise due to loneliness amongst seniors. I am pleading to all levels of governments to please Save our Seniors, this is an SOS call for help.

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Buddy Services Centre for Seniors receives $25,000 grant

The recently established Buddy Services Centre for Seniors in Toronto has received a grant of $25,000 from the Emergency Community Support Fund (COVID-19 ECSF) to help fulfill the needs of the “vulnerable population” in the O’Connor-Parkview community during the current global pandemic, says a news release from the Centre.

The release notes that the community houses a wide range of residents, including seniors, immigrants, and visible minorities living in poverty and that adults who earn less than $30,000 annually or have a fixed income and are 55-years and older are eligible to receive the services provided by the Centre.

Trinidad-born Carol Royer, Founder and Executive Director of the Centre, said, “many elderly persons in the community are diagnosed with cancer, AIDS, or has mental health issues which make it difficult for them to run simple errands like grocery shopping or get to doctors’ offices”.

Companionship, transportation to and from appointments and community activities, assistance with meal planning and preparation and personal care support are among the services provided by the Centre, the release says.

Over the next few weeks, staff from the Centre will meet with seniors in the community to inform them of the services available and “assist them in the qualification process.,” the release notes.

Launched last May by the government of Canada, the ECSF is a $350 million program.

Published by: The Caribbean Camera

Buddy Services Centre for Seniors receives $25,000 grant

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A Buddy for Life!

“It is one thing to be alone, and another to be lonely!”

The Buddy Services Centre for Seniors has received a $25,000 grant from the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) to fulfill the vulnerable populations’ needs in the O’Connor-Parkview neighborhood.

This community houses a wide range of residents, ranging from seniors, immigrants, and visible minorities with some living in dire poverty. There are many elderly adults who are diagnosed with cancer, AIDS, or have metal health issues, which makes it difficult for them to run simple errands like: grocery shopping, navigating to doctors’ offices, and doing things that others may take for granted.

Adults whose income is less than $30,000 a year, have a fixed income, and are 55-years and older and reside in the O’Connor-Parkview neighborhood are eligible to receive the services made possible by Buddy Services Centre for Seniors.

Residents will have access to: companionship, transportation to and from appointments and community activities, assistance with meal planning and preparation, and personal care support.

In the weeks to come, Buddy Services Centre for Seniors staff will: start connecting with the seniors in the community, informing them of the services, and assisting elderly adults in the qualification process for the buddy services to help reduce the effects of social isolation. Meanwhile the Canadian government has invested $350 million to improve community organizations’ ability to serve vulnerable Canadian during this crisis.

Buddy Services was founder by Carol Royer out of a need to take care of her sick mother, Royer has turned her talents into organization to help the disenfranchised.

Toronto Caribbean newspaper had a conversation with Royer about her tireless work and her passion for helping the poor. Royer said, “It started in 2017 when my mom had a stroke, her health declined and then she had a second stroke in 2018, which left her unable to walk. That is when I had to take care of her. While doing that I began to document my experiences, and after a while, I said gosh! This looks like a business plan.”

Full story

Published by: Toronto Caribbean News : Written by Michael Thomas

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Staying Socially Connected In a New Physically Distanced World

The world’s new normal is physical and social distancing, which means staying at home as much as possible. Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has overcome the world spreading viciously and faster than any virus or disease our modern world has experienced. Physical distancing is necessary right now, but it’s increased anxiety, social isolation, depression.

It is especially difficult for those who are struggling with physical and mental health disorders. “As social beings, we are biologically hardwired to connect. Research shows supportive networks can decrease our heart rate and help us process difficult emotions,” says couples and family counsellor Carole Sandy.

My grandma was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which quickly left her unable to care for herself and live independently with my eighty-six-year-old grandfather anymore. She moved into a nursing home in February after living with my grandpa for over sixty-two years, and my grandpa temporarily moved into Princess Margaret hospital to undergo radiation treatment for head cancer. All nursing homes and hospitals are closed for visits, leaving my grandparents separated and isolated while battling health conditions. I am sure my grandma is unable to understand or remember why no one is allowed to visit her and probably thinks we have abandoned her. To help myself and my grandparents disrupt the thoughts associated with social isolation while still practicing physical distancing, here are eight tips I came up with along with Carole to help us successfully adapt to our changing society.

  1. It may seem obvious, but call or video call your friends and family. Before physical and social distancing, we had the excuse of being too busy to call and catch up regularly with friends and family. Most people relied heavily on social media to stay up to date with friends and family’s lives. With social and physical distancing in strict effect, use your extra time to call and have a conversation with a loved one. Avoid texting and get back to the old school method of communicating. Many older adults appreciate and enjoy receiving phone calls and don’t like texts and emails. Schedule weekly family video, phone or three-ways calls to stay connected to your loved ones. Include your favorite snacks, drinks and most comfortable outfit. Now is the time to create new social traditions, connect with your loved ones on a deeper level and create lasting memories.
  2. Write a letter or send greeting cards. I recently began handwriting letters to my grandma at her nursing home. Canada Post is considered an essential service and is still picking up and delivering mail across Canada. My grandma doesn’t have a phone in her room at the nursing home and does not have a cell phone so connecting with her has proved difficult. I write her letters updating her on the Coronavirus. I also include photographs and my son’s drawings in our letters as a special touch. Writing letters allows our family and friends to experience physical contact while still adhering to the physical distancing rules.
  3. Window visits. We are all encouraged to stay at home, but if you live alone and have a family or friend who lives nearby, try planning a window or distant visit. I have watched touching videos where people are socializing from a distance to celebrate milestone occasions or bring comfort to a loved one. My son and I recently saw some school friends while on a walk. To adhere to the physical distancing rules, we gave each other air hugs from a distance and talked to each other from a range of six feet. With all social gatherings cancelled until June 30th, 2020, people have become creative in developing tactics to follow the physical distancing rule but still stay connected to their community. Window and distant visits disrupt the thoughts of loneliness and “I am the only one going through this.” Negative thoughts thrive in isolation; the key is physical distancing but not social isolation.
  4. Attend online classes, meetings and parties. Many personal trainers, yoga teachers, DJs and influencers are offering online socializing to cope with the physical distancing. DJ Nice threw a successful online party where even Michelle Obama showed up! Ani O Yoga studio is offering free online kids yoga and meditation from April 9th-30th as well as virtual yoga and Pilates classes. Tray Arts is also hosting free virtual paint nights for families to spend time together. Many therapists have transitioned their services online as well as support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Set dates with friends and family to attend virtual classes or parties together.
  5. Help the elderly with online transactions. Many seniors are accustomed to going into the bank to pay their bills and check their accounts. Setting up and paying bills, ordering groceries and supplies for seniors online will relieve the burden of the changes and chaos our society is facing. Seniors are very vulnerable to the Coronavirus and need the most assistance and protection at this time.
  6. “Be intentional about your self- care. This might include spending time connecting and healing yourself, reducing your time on social media, doing something creative, reading affirmations, accepting your emotions, taking a bath or listening to your favorite artist; and asking yourself “have I been protecting myself from things that are increasing my anxiety or panic?” Now is a wonderful time to self-reflect on how you have treated yourself so far in 2020. What have you learned about yourself? What have you noticed is still getting in the way of your progress? And since you have been given the gift of time, be gentle and empathic toward yourself during this exercise” says Carole.
  7. It is also a great time to dig into your family history and honor your elders. “There is a great family tree exercise that I incorporate into my family therapy practice. I encourage family members to work together to uncover family secrets, values, strengths and future goals to create a strong, unified identity. It also allows time for family members to share important memories that can be passed on to the next generation,” shares Carole.
  8. Social distancing may have an emotional toll on you or your loved ones that can go undetected. Including online or phone therapy into your new social distancing schedule can help you and your family ensure open communication is developed or maintained during this time. Many people have said that they didn’t have the time for therapy or healing before. With all social activities shut down across the globe, there is no time better than the present to begin your healing journey. Therapy does not always have to be in person at an office. You can schedule one on one phone calls, video calls, and three-way calls for therapy sessions. Feel free to use the extra time in your schedule to better yourself and gain self-awareness.

This isn’t a competition of how much you can accomplish in quarantine. But it is a slight pause of life as we know it, and a chance to work on self-awareness and healing.

If you or a loved one is in need of elderly in-home services email [email protected]. Stay safe, stay home and help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

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Sandwich Generation: 5 Steps to Prevent Caregiver Burnout

Burnouts have become an everyday staple in our society, with technology dictating our daily lives, people feel the need to work endlessly and neglect their physical and emotional health. Burnouts are a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion brought on by excessive and prolonged stress. Most people assume burnouts can only occur due to work stress, but the number of Canadian’s experiencing caregiver burnout is increasing tremendously.   

Adults age 40-65 are considered the sandwich generation- who are responsible for caring for their children and their elderly parents. These adults are at higher risk for caregiver burnout, resulting in a change of attitude from hopeful and positive to negative and pessimistic. Caregivers often forget self-care and experience symptoms of burnouts and cannot fathom how to overcome stress. 

A 2016 Canadian census found that by the year 2031, almost one in four Canadians will be over the age of 65. Stats Canada reports that 75% of Canadians who provide care for their elderly family members are between the ages of 45-65, three-quarters of those caregivers work or run a business, and almost one-third of the caregivers have children at home who are under the age of 18. Balancing the triple responsibility of caring for your children, elderly family members and work at the same time leaves little thought or time for self-care.

People are living longer as improvements in technology, and healthcare advancements have improved geriatric care. This means adult children carry the responsibility of being a caregiver decades longer than their parents or grandparents. While our society shifts to longer life spans, it is essential we are mindful of maintaining the quality of our health to enjoy our more extended stay on earth.  

If you are the primary caregiver to your children and elderly parents, here are five self-care practices you can incorporate into your life to avoid caregiver burnout. 

  1. Incorporate a weekly self-awareness check-up with yourself. Schedule twenty to thirty minutes into your weekly routine to sit quietly with yourself and perform a self-awareness check. Write down in a journal or notebook thoughts that come to your mind and how you feel about them. Examine your reaction to unpleasant news or circumstances that may have taken place recently and write down how you felt and what you have done differently. A self-awareness check helps you understand your feelings and behaviours. Weekly check-in with your thoughts and feelings will help you recognize whether caregiver burnout is on the horizon. Acknowledging your thoughts and feelings regularly will help you avoid caregiver burnout because you will be intuned with yourself and be able to take a break when you feel it’s necessary. 
  2. Examine your sleeping patterns. If you are suffering from insomnia, overthinking or restless sleep, you are most likely on the brink of burnout. Sleep patterns speak volumes to our subconscious and mental health, wellbeing. The human body provides symptoms and signals when it is off balance. It is our job to listen to our bodies and provide the necessary rest, water or minerals it needs to function at full capacity. There are many natural and over the counter sleep aids that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep all night long. 
  3. Make a list of your daily responsibilities. Sometimes we believe we can be superwoman or superman and accomplish everything on our to-do list in twenty-four hours. Sometimes we can’t get everything complete on our to-do list in the allotted time, and that’s okay. Write your tasks for the day down and prioritize your list. Highlight items that can be completed another day and tasks that must be completed the same day. Having physical proof of your daily tasks reduces anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. Providing yourself with a perspective on your tasks will help you avoid caregiver burnout. 
  4. Deep breathing before bed. Consciously taking deep breaths in and out will decrease stress and increase feelings of calm. Include a deep breathing practice into your daily routine before bed. Stand up, and as you inhale, feel your stomach fill with air and lift your arms above your head. Then as you exhale through your mouth, your stomach should suck in, releasing the air you inhaled and bring your arms down by your side. You can repeat this process ten to fifteen times before bed and alternate between exhaling out of your mouth out of your nose with your mouth closed. Deep breathing will help you become more relaxed and fall asleep easier. 
  5. Ask for help. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You will not be viewed as weak or unable to manage. Everyone needs help sometimes, or we wouldn’t have inventions like cars, electricity, airplanes etc. Asking for help when you feel overwhelmed is an act of self-care and self-love. It is impossible as a caregiver to pour from an empty cup. If you have siblings or cousins who can help relieve some of the responsibility in caring for your elderly family members, reach out to them and ask for help. Call your local information center for resources that will help with your caregiver duties. Ask friends for recommendations or to help with researching personal support workers, babysitters, transportation etc. Once you seek out help, it will always find its way to you. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Being a caregiver is a lot of responsibility, but it also includes a lot of joy and love. Knowing that your loved ones are safe and happy makes all the difference to caregivers. But as a caregiver, all of your time mustn’t be consumed caring for others that you neglect yourself. It is impossible to pour from an empty cup; therefore, it’s important to incorporate daily practices that will fill your cup emotionally, mentally and physically. The first person a caregiver must care for is themselves, and then they can extend that self-love and self-care to others and avoid caregiver burnout. In closing, I will quote Robyn L. Gobin from her book, The Self-Care Prescription, “self-care is, fundamentally, about bringing balance back to a life that has grown imbalanced from too many commitments or responsibilities.”

Written by: Kezia Royer Burkett a creative freelance writer with a degree in communications and multimedia from McMaster University. When she is not writing she is finding inspiration living life, raising her son and spending time with friends and family.